Animal Agriculture Worse for Global Warming Than Cars, Power Plants August 29, 2005 10:16 PM
Animal Agriculture Worse for Global Warming Than Cars, Power Plants
For Immediate Release: August 29, 2005
Contact: Noam Mohr 646-287-0072 firstname.lastname@example.org
EarthSave International Report: Cars, Power Plants Cause No Global
Warming for Half a Century
Environmental Community Focusing on Wrong Activities in Fighting
According to a report issued today by environmental group EarthSave
International, cars and power plants - the traditional targets of
environmentalists - will not be a major cause of global warming in our
lifetime. Rather, the most significant source of climate change over
the next half-century is likely animal agriculture. (Download report:
Because carbon dioxide makes up the majority of greenhouse gas
emissions, environmentalists have focused on its main sources: cars
and power plants.
The report points out that other gases, produced in smaller amounts
but far more powerful at trapping heat, actually cause the majority of
the earth's warming. Moreover, because the cars and power plants that
emit carbon dioxide also emit climate-cooling aerosols, they are
responsible for little to no net warming today.
The report's data analysis, based on the work of leading climate
scientists, shows that methane sources - not carbon dioxide sources -
are the biggest cause of global warming today, and will continue to be for the next 50 years. The number one human-related source of methane worldwide is livestock, the report says. "This reveals an untapped opportunity to make serious and rapid progress in reducing dangerous global warming trends," said Noam Mohr, author of the report.
The report strongly stresses that this is not the work of global
warming skeptics, citing leading pro-environment climate scientists
quoted by Al Gore and the Sierra Club, and a peer review by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The report provides global warming skeptics no excuse to let up on
sources of carbon dioxide, as it remains in the atmosphere for
centuries. Nevertheless, according to the data, methane will remain
the primary offender in our lifetime, with animal agriculture its biggest source.
Also in the report:
* Methane is 21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon
dioxide. While carbon dioxide levels have risen by 31%, methane levels
have more than doubled.
* Animal agriculture produces more than 100 million tons of methane
a year, about 85% from livestock digestion and 15% from manure
"lagoons" used to store untreated feces.
* Methane cycles out of the atmosphere in just 8 years, so reducing
meat consumption quickly translates to cooling of the earth. In
comparison, carbon dioxide can stay in the atmosphere for centuries.
* Less consumption of animal products also means less water
consumption, water pollution, air pollution, and even carbon dioxide
The report calls on environmental organizations to make vegetarian
advocacy a major part of their global warming campaigns. "Anyone who
cares about global warming can start making a difference at every
meal, simply by leaving meat off their plates," said Mohr. "It turns
out that what's good for your health is also good for the planet."
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then...you win."
-- M. Gandhi
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